Average Game Developer Salary is $81,192, According to Annual Survey
Games are an extremely lucrative business, and while the companies that make them don’t always treat their customers right, at least they pay their employees a salary commensurate to the huge profits games rake in. According to Game Developer magazine, the average game developer salary is nearly double U.S. average, making it good work if you can get it. Indie developers, as might be expected, don’t pay quite as much in wages.
Some more hard numbers, courtesy of Game Developer.
- Average salary across the game industry is $81,192 in 2011, up just $375 from 2010
- Individual indies make an average of $23,549, more than double 2010′s $11,379. Indie teams made an average of $38,239, up $11,459 from 2010. Independent contractors averaged $56,282, up $800 from 2010
- Developers are more optimistic: 65% said they felt “satisfied” or “extremely satisfied” with their potential career path (up 4% over last year), 34% believed there were more jobs in the industry than before (up 5%), and 54% felt there were more opportunities for developers than before (up 7%)
- European salary averages fell across the board, with the exception of producers’ salaries, which increased $3,500 over last year. Canadian developers were paid better than European developers in every discipline by anywhere from 30% more to 100% more.
Per discipline average salaries (from 1,742 total usable U.S.-based responses):
- Business/Legal – $102,160
- Programmers – $92,962
- Producers – $85,687
- Audio – $83,182
- Artists and Animators – $75,780
- Designers/writers – $73,386
- QA testers – $47,910